How to Choose Heat Blocking Window Shade Fabric

Benefits of Heat Blocking Shade Materials

An economical option that’s as practical as it is attractive, heat blocking solar shade fabric is ideal for residential or commercial settings and offers a variety of benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25-30% of a home’s heat gain and heat loss occurs through windows. Heat blocking window shades made with specialized solar control fabrics are one of the most effective ways to reduce heat gain at the window and can lower air conditioning costs by up to 25%. These types of shades can also be lowered during cooler months to protect against cold air drafts, making them the perfect year-round solution. 


Reduce Glare & Manage Natural Light

Interior solar shade fabrics are the perfect glare-reducing solution to effectively manage natural light. These fabrics also provide optimum glare reduction in areas where the sun is lower on the horizon, such as during winter months or in more northern climates.

Save on Energy & Utility Costs

Energy efficient window treatment materials are ideal for keeping out unwanted solar heat gain from doors and windows, which can reduce the overall workload of an air conditioning unit, and translate into lower utility bills.

Reduce “Hot Spots”

Direct sunlight can create “hot spots”, making affected areas uncomfortable. Heat blocking solar shade fabrics help eliminate hot spots by absorbing solar heat and evenly distributing it throughout the room. 

Choosing the Right Materials for Window Treatments

When choosing the right fabric for your residential or commercial needs, there are a number of factors to consider to make your space more comfortable.


Light vs. Dark Colors

Energy efficient window coverings can be found in a range of colors, from soft whites and neutrals to darker tones. These color options offer more than just aesthetic value and color coordination with interior decor. Light color fabrics provide optimum heat reduction by reflecting light and illuminating interiors. Darker fabrics provide better outward visibility and reduced glare, making them ideal for viewing clarity and diminished eye strain on electronic devices.


Openness Factors

The openness of a fabric refers to the tightness of the weave or mesh construction and determines the amount of heat and light that enters a room. Generally, a more open fabric allows more heat and light to penetrate, while a tighter mesh blocks more heat and light. Additionally, more open fabrics help maintain better outward visibility.


UV Protection

The amount of UV protection that heat blocking window shade fabrics provide is measured by the shading coefficient. When solar heat hits a surface, there are three outcomes:

  • Solar Transmission (Ts) - The percent of solar energy that can transmit through the fabric. The higher this value, the more heat is able to enter the space.
  • Solar Reflectance (Rs) – The percent of solar energy that is reflected by the fabric. The higher this value, the less heat is allowed into the space.
  • Solar Absorption (As) - The percent of solar energy that is absorbed by the fabric. The higher this value, the less heat is able to enter the space.

The sum of all three values will always equal 100 (Ts + Rs + As = 100). Technical data from manufacturers of heat reducing window shade fabrics can and should be referenced when specifying the right window covering material.



Interior roller shades designed with high performance shading fabrics are the most efficient and cost effective window covering solution for reducing solar heat gain into interior spaces. Motorized shading systems can be programmed and coordinated to block unwanted solar heat in warmer months and allow for solar heat gain in colder months. Fabrics specified in interior shading systems are aesthetically pleasing, easy to maintain and contain built-in antimicrobial protection against stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew.


Interior or Exterior Heat Blocking Shades

The decision to choose shading fabrics engineered for inside the home vs. outside comes down to the need for protection from insects. Outdoor solar shades can provide similar heat control properties, but will also protect against insects. Additionally, exterior solar shades can increase your outdoor living space and privacy by creating a screened-in effect for porches, decks or patios. Learn more about the benefits of outdoor shade fabric to determine whether interior or exterior fabrics make sense for your application.

The Best Interior Heat Blocking Window Shade Materials

Whether you’re looking for energy efficient material to create window treatments for the home, office or other commercial space, SheerWeave has multiple lines of fabric suitable for these environments. Many of our heat blocking window shade fabrics are equipped to meet the most rigorous standards for building and flame resistant codes required in a commercial setting, although they still perform beautifully in the home.

Glare Reduction & Outward Visibility

Our Performance + 2390 / 2410 / 2500 Series is excellent for the office or place of business by offering the best in glare reduction and outward visibility while its highly reflective metallized surface reflects away solar energy. 

Blackout & Light-Filtering Options

Some fabrics are recommended for residential use only, including much of our 5000 Series, and several of our blackout and light-filtering options, including 7200R / 7250R, our 7450 fabric, and our 7500R and  7700R / 7750R lines.

Occupant Friendly Options

In addition to helping save on energy costs, SheerWeave has many occupant friendly features. Not only are all SheerWeave fabrics energy efficient but they’re also GREENGUARD® GOLD certified, meeting the highest worldwide standards for lower indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and improved indoor air quality. Many of these fabrics have acoustical properties that absorb sound and improve overall comfort for occupants.


Manufactured with DOW ECOLIBRIUM™, phthalate free, lead free and RoHS compliant. These fabrics offer the benefits of traditional vinyl but are made from a renewable alternative to traditional plasticizers that lower greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40% compared to other PVC compounds.


Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Bronze and independently evaluated in multiple quality categories, including material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness. Our 8000 Series fabric is PVC-free, halogen free and phthalate free, as well as LEED Material Ingredient Disclosure Eligible.


100% recyclable, PVC-free and helps save energy, blocking 95 to 99% of harmful UV rays. As with many SheerWeave fabrics, it bears the Melanoma International Foundation seal of approval for its effectiveness in preventing sun damage to the skin and eyes.

Microban®-Infused For Antimicrobial Protection

Most of our energy efficient SheerWeave fabrics are infused with Microban®. Microban® antimicrobial protection inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration. Microban is ideal for residential applications where bacteria, mold and mildew may thrive and in commercial spaces such as health care and hospitality where the public gathers.

Vast Options for Color and Texture

Whether you prefer the serenity of neutral colors that enhance the decor of any room or luxurious textures, SheerWeave fabrics are available in a range of colors and styles. Explore our 5000 Series, which features texture-rich jacquards, or view our popular basketweave shading fabrics like Styles 2410 & 2500 and the 2703 Series. All offer colors and openness factors to meet your priorities in solar heat and glare reduction

Contact A Phifer Representative To Learn More

Phifer’s line of interior solar shading products represent our ongoing commitment to creating heat blocking materials that help any space feel more comfortable.

Reach out to our award-winning customer service team any time to assist you in finding the right SheerWeave fabric for your heat control needs. Phifer representatives are available to chat with you online or on the phone. When you have a product in mind, we can help you find where you can buy Phifer’s Interior Shading products.